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Hardaway’s First Half Inferno Unsustainable in Defensive Collapse vs. Wiz

Photo: Ned Dishman/Getty Images
A fast and furious start from Hardaway Jr. and the Knicks stalls in the second half when All-Star Bradley Beal leads the Wizards past the Knicks before the break.

In a Valentine’s Day matchup with the Wall-less Washington Wizards (33–24), the New York Knicks (23–36) put on one of their best showings in a while, although it only lasted two quarters.

Powered by a scoring explosion from Tim Hardaway Jr., New York led by 21 at the half. However, in extreme Knicksian fashion, they failed to hold on to the lead and dropped to the Wizards 118–113 thanks to a terrible showing on both sides of the floor in the second half.

At this point we shouldn’t even be surprised—the Knicks are a terrible basketball team and do terrible things. Anyway, the recap:


Hornacek’s Rotations

Tonight Coach Hornacek rolled out the vets for most of the game. While Mudiay saw some extra time on the floor, Kornet, Hicks, and Burke were all hit with DNP’s—and Frank Ntilikina only saw 10 minutes of action. It’d be nice to see the young guys get some more minutes, but with the starters doing so well in the first half it’s not crazy to give them more run than usual, even if it means seeing Jarrett Jack’s gleaming bald head for 30-odd minutes.

Timmy Goes Off (For One Half!)

Tim Hardaway Jr. finally broke out of his slump tonight with a season high 37-point game, one bucket away from his career high.

Hardaway started the game on fire, dropping 32 (!!!) in the first half alone. Unfortunately, he cooled off after halftime, scoring only five points on 2-of-10 shooting in the second half. Timmy again proved how effective he can be as the number one scoring option, but at the same time, he showed why his role should remain a second option for now. He can heat up at times and give the Knicks some valuable volume scoring when their offense becomes stagnant but can’t keep it up for the entirety of the game—and ultimately leads to the stagnation when the team stands around waiting for Hardaway Jr. to erupt. We saw this on Wednesday night, as Timmy had a few crucial turnovers and missed some shots near the end of the game, which played a big part in New York being unable to close out against D.C.

Get ready to see a lot of this for the rest of the season. At least the draft is stacked.

Thankfully, this was the Knickerbockers’ last game before the All-Star break. They get back on the court next Thursday, February 22, in a matchup against the Orlando Magic.

TKW’s resident youngin’. Steve Novak is my hero.

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